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20 geckos seized in Laguna; 12 arrested


CAMP PACIANO RIZAL, Philippines—Police seized 20 geckos on Wednesday and arrested 12 people suspected of illegally poaching the lizards for an underground trade in San Pedro, Laguna.

Senior Superintendent Gilbert Cruz, Laguna police director, in a text message, said the geckos were recovered from the house of a certain Eduardo Junio in Barangay (village) Cuyab in San Pedro at around 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Supt. Kirby Kraft, San Pedro police chief, said the police had received a tip from a concerned citizen that geckos were to be illegally transported to the town.

“It was not initially identified where in San Pedro, until today (Wednesday) when an informant led us to (Junio’s) house,” Kraft said in a phone interview.

Police arrested Junio, a certain Serafin Mendoza from Dasmariñas City in Cavite, and 10 other people inside the house.

“(The suspects) would not tell us anything but they said the geckos all came from Bicol,” Kraft said.

Police, however, believed the geckos, all placed in a large animal cage when found, would be sold. “Why would you keep a gecko in your home?” Kraft said.

In 2011, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources had warned the public against collecting and selling geckos, as this violated the Animal Welfare Act.

At the time, there was a frenzy for the reptiles believed to bear the cure for HIV-AIDS and news on the street said that foreign buyers were willing to buy geckos weighing at least 300 grams for P1,000 per gram.  However, no medical expert has confirmed that geckos indeed bore the cure the HIV-AIDS, human immuno-deficiency virus which leads to the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

Kraft said they would turn over the geckos to the DENR.

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Tags: Animal Welfare Act , Crime , Department of Environment and Natural Resources , Geckos , Gilbert Cruz , Kirby Kraft , Philippines - Regions , wildlife trafficking

  • noypi_07

    P300,000 para sa isang tuko?  ridiculous!

  • billygunn23

    20 geckos arrested! 12 seized!

  • PHtaxpayer

    These creatures have lived in our homes for thousands of years, hardly getting in our way and eating the insects that destroy or crops, eat our food and spread disease.  It’s sheer ignorance and greed to even think of destroying them.

  • WeAry_Bat

    I think the closest domesticated animal to the gecko is chicken.  A few crocodiles are domesticated in farms. 

    Finally, if the health claims on the gecko are true, the behemoth multinational pharmaceutical companies would have farmed hundred thousands of them for decades already.  There are none.

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